Clarborough Tunnel | Nature Reserves | Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust
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Clarborough Tunnel

Type : GrasslandBassetlaw

Clarborough Tunnel

Clarborough Tunnel nature reserve is a limestone grassland and scrub woodland and covers over 5 hectares. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and is managed by the Trust under licence from Railtrack..

About the Reserve

The reserve consists of four sections; an old orchard and garden (now grassed over) adjacent to the reserve entrance, and three areas of spoil deposited during cutting of the railway tunnel in 1849 covered with dense woodland, woodland and scrub, and grassland.  Most of the reserve is over the tunnel itself.  The grassland, which is dominated by upright brome and tor grass, is rich in flowering plants including cowslip, bird’s foot trefoil, wild carrot, hoary plantain, knapweed, yellow-wort, spiny restharrow, ox–eye daisy and several species of orchid.  The reserve is also home to a healthy population of pyramidal orchids.  The scrub consists mainly of hawthorn, privet, sycamore and crab apple, with woody climbing and rambling plants including rose species, black bryony and ivy.  Buckthorn and laurel are also present. 

Many species of birds can be found in the scrub and woodland and a small pond on the reserve was deepened in 1984 to encourage a greater variety of pond life. Great-crested newts were recorded here in 1985.


For some more pictures of the nature reserve please go to our flickr set[email protected]/sets/72157627114217488/


Conservation Management

Management includes scrub clearance, footpath maintenance, boundary repairs and flora identification. Regular work parties are held and anyone wishing to get involved in the management of the site should contact the Trust office. 

How to Get There

The reserve (entrance SK755825) is 3 miles from Retford on the Retford to Gainsborough railway line. Access is via the unclassified Retford to Leverton road, turning down a rough track at SK752815 to Rathole Lane Crossing. Enter over a stile. It is open to the public at all times and we ask visitors to keep to the paths. For SatNav purposes use DN22 0EA and follow the instructions above.

Why not explore these nearby reserves? Treswell Wood & Ashton's Meadow.

Further Information

If you would like further details about the reserve, or if you are interested in getting involved in the management of the site, please call the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust Office on 0115 958 8242

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